A committee will be set up for identification of gaps in basic facilities and infrastructure along the Indo-Mayanmar border and prioritise them for measures in the short-term, medium-term and long-term, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here today. The panel, under the chairmanship of secretary, Border Management will find out and pool all resources and dovetail programmes of various ministries including those of North- Eastern Council, Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) and Border Area Development Programme (BADP), he said. The home minister made the announcement while stressing on better connectivity with Myanmar. The committee will submit its report taking into account short-term (three years), medium-term (three to six years) and long-term (six to 10 years) before the end of the year, Singh said. “Greater connectivity within the region and with our neighbours is likely to give impetus to enhanced movement of goods, services and people across the border,” he said at the meeting of chief ministers of northeastern states which share a porous border with Myanmar. Singh said that for specific developmental needs of border areas, allocation under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) to 17 border states, which was Rs 990 crore in 2016–2017, has been raised to Rs 1,100 crore in 2017–2018. This is for the first time that such a meeting has been called to discuss issues concerning Myanmar border with active participation of state governments.
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The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, besides Pema Khandu, N Biren Singh and Lal Thanhawla, the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, respectively and Nagaland Home Minister Yanthungo Patton. “Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh were released Rs 567.39 crore during the last three years. For integrated development of 41 model villages Rs 92.39 crore were released in the last financial year, which included three villages in Manipur and one village in Nagaland,” Singh said. Noting that Assam Rifles has given a proposal for construction of roads and airports for their operational requirement, he stressed on addressing the issue of improvement of basic facilities like roads, power, telecommunication, health and education. Noting that there are over 240 villages with over 2.5 lakh people within 10 km of the Indo-Myanmar border, Singh urged these bordering states to bring these areas under active policing.
The international border with Myanmar is porous with cross-border movement of insurgents and smuggling of arms and ammunition being common there. The chief secretaries, directors general of police (DGPs) of the states, the director general of the Assam Rifles and senior officials from the central ministries concerned were also present at the conclave.